Easy pineapple pork roast – tender, juicy meat and flavors galore! Plus – glaze ideas for a mouthwatering presentation.
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About This Recipe for Pork with Pineapple
Pork and pineapple are a great fit flavor wise and this recipe fully exploits their natural affinity for each other.
While you could use a slow cooker, we highly recommend that you stick with traditional oven slow roasting. It is a matter of dry heat versus moist heat and the former holds a considerable advantage in this case.
This is an inexpensive and easy to execute dish and provided that you use the right cut of pork and are patient you should master it the first time you make it.
Ingredients for Pineapple Pork Roast
Pork shoulder. Be sure to buy pork shoulder roast from near the neck (boneless will be easier to carve) versus the leaner Boston butt which sits closer to the picnic ham. (Use the picture above as a reference). Most certainly do not use pork loin – it is too dry. The good fat marbling of pork shoulder will both flavor the meat and keep it moist during slow roasting as the fat melts away.
Dry rub. We make a simple one with kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder and cumin. You can also add a bit of heat to it by way of cayenne or red pepper flakes. Or substitute with your favorite pork dry rub.
Pineapple. One large fresh pineapple. You could substitute with canned slices, but the texture will fall short even if you add the canned pineapple at the very end.
Pineapple juice or pineapple flavored beer. The former is of course much easier to find, but if you happen upon a pineapple flavored beer – try the recipe using some. For this post we used a lightly tart guava pineapple fruited ale from local Funkwerks Brewing and were very happy with the results. But pineapple juice is our typical choice.
Glaze. This is optional. You can simply brush the pork with the pan juices before serving or make a glaze with pineapple juice and hoisin sauce (more ideas listed below).
Protein Substitutions. Arguably you can use a boneless pork loin roast or a pork tenderloin in this recipe. The risk with the former is that it cooks a bit dry so try brining it first. It will also take less time as the meat is naturally more tender, especially if center cut. With a tenderloin the cooking time will be much shorter, probably around 30 minutes at most and you will need to use a meat thermometer and stop roasting at 145F.
How to Roast Pineapple Pork
- Rub. Prepare the spice mixture ina small bowl and season the pork shoulder generously. You can do this in advance the day before and refrigerate the pork covered with plastic. Remember to bring it to room temperature before roasting.
- Prep the pineapple. You will need 3 thickish slices to rest the pork shoulder onto – cut the rest of the pineapple in bite-sized chunks and cover with plastic until needed.
- Roast. Begin with 20 minutes at high temperature (400 F). Place the roast fat side up. Next take out the pork and add the pineapple juice or ale. Lower the oven temperature to 275 – 300 F and continue roasting. After one hour begin checking on the pork – baste or brush with the pan juices and turn it over as needed so that more of its surface is exposed to the dry heat of the oven. When it begins to get tender but it is not quite fork tender yet add the pineapple and continue roasting. Add a bit more liquid to the roasting pan if needed.
- Rest. When the pork is tender when pierced with a fork place it on a cutting board to rest for 5-10 minutes before you slice it.
TIP: You cannot rush this roast. Honor the pork shoulder and give it the time it needs to become fork tender. For a 3-4 lbs pork shoulder total time may be anywhere from 2 1/2 to 4 hours of slow roasting. It depends on the size of the pork, whether it is boneless or bone-in and the calibration of your oven.
How to Serve Pineapple Pork Roast
After resting the pork shoulder for a few minutes carve it in about 3/4 inch thick pieces. Arrange the slices on a serving platter and add the roasted pineapple chunks.
- Serve with rice – cilantro rice, coconut rice
- Serve with steamed buns and a lot of julienned veggies (carrot, cucumber, green or red onions)
- Glaze the pineapple pork (see glaze ideas below)
- Garnish with diagonally sliced green onion or cilantro.
Glaze Ideas for Pineapple Pork Roast
While you absolutely do not have to make a glaze for the pork (you can use a bit of the pan drippings to brush over it instead), a glaze does bring extra flavor and an appetizing lacquered finish to the dish.
Note that the pan drippings in the case of pork shoulder will contain a lot of grease which is why we recommend that you do not rely on them as a glaze ingredient.
You can use teriyaki sauce or whip up one of these easy glazes just before you take out the roast from the oven or while it is resting.
- Pineapple-Hoisin. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat bring to simmer 1/2 cup pineapple juice, 1/3 cup hoisin sauce and 1/4 cup brown sugar. Stir to dissolve the sugar and simmer until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. (This is the glaze we used for the pictures).
- Pineapple-BBQ. In a small saucepan over medium heat mix 1/2 cup of pineapple juice and 1/2 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce. Simmer until the mixture is reduced.
- Pineapple-Balsamic-Garlic. In a small saucepan over medium heat bring to simmer 1/2 cup of pineapple juice, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar and 2 minced garlic cloves. Stir to dissolve the sugar and simmer until thickened.
- Pineapple-Chile-Soy. In a smallsauce pan over medium heat bring to simmer 1/2 cup of pineapple juice, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 3 tbsp soy sauce and 1 tbsp of sweet chile sauce. Stir well and allow to thicken.
Storing and Freezing Leftovers
To store leftovers in the fridge, allow them to cool down and place in an airtight container.
In the freezer the cooked roast will keep well for a couple of months provided that you wrap it tightly with foil and then place it in a freezer bag.
Best Way To Reheat Leftovers
If you have leftover pork roast we recommend the following way to reheat it in order to not dry it out.
- After taking it out of the refrigerator wrap the pork in aluminum foil and place the packet onto a baking sheet.
- Place in a preheated 300 F oven for about 15 minutes.
Other Recipes You Might Like
Pineapple pork roast
- 3 to 4 lbs pork shoulder*
- 2 tbsp coarse salt
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1-2 tsp cumin (to taste)
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 large fresh pineapple**
- 16 oz pineapple juice***
Pineapple Glaze (Optional)
- 1/2 cup pineapple juice
- 1/3 cup hoisin sauce
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- Mix the dry rub and season the pork shoulder generously. This can be done the day before - store the meat covered and refrigerated and bring it to room temperature before you roast it.
- Preheat the oven to 400 F.
- Peel the pineapple and carve out 3 thickish rounds to place the pork shoulder on. Cut the rest into bite-sized pieces, cover with plastic and set aside.
- Place the pineapple rounds in a roasting pan and lay the seasoned pork shoulder on top. Roast for 20 minutes and take it out. Add the pineapple juice.
- Lower the oven temperature to 275-300 F depending on how strong your oven is. Continue to slow roast the pork. After one hour begin checking on the pork periodically – baste or brush it with the pan juices and turn it over as needed so that more of its surface is exposed to the dry heat of the oven. Once it begins to get tender but it is not quite fork tender add the pineapple chunks all around the meat and continue roasting. If needed add a bit of water to the pan.
- Once the pork is very tender when pierced with a fork place it on a cutting board to rest for 5-10 minutes before you slice it. (Depending on the exact weight of the pork and your oven's calibration total roasting time will vary - from 2 1/2 to 4 hours).
PINEAPPLE GLAZE (OPTIONAL)
Make the glaze just before you take out the pork from the oven or while it is resting. Combine pineapple juice, hoisin sauce and brown sugar in a small sauce pan, stir to dissolve the sugar and bring to simmer over medium heat. When the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon remove it from the heat. Apply the glaze after you slice the pork roast. ****
*Ideally choose boneless pork shoulder roast cut from near the neck of the animal with a good amount of fat (it will all be rendered during cooking). Bone-in is OK to use, but will cook longer and is not as easy to carve. Boston butt is less desirable as it is leaner and will not stay as juicy - we don't recommend it for this recipe. Definitely do not use pork loin.
**Substitute with 2 cans of pineapple slices, but add a bit later during roasting than you would the fresh chunks.
***Substitute with pineapple fruited ale if you happen upon a good craft brew - it is worth it.
****For other glaze ideas see the relevant section in the body of the post.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 711Total Fat: 49gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 26gCholesterol: 204mgSodium: 1901mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 1gSugar: 8gProtein: 53g